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A train transporting oil product derailed in the Grande plée Bleue peatland in Lévis, Québec. Oil spilled from some tankers in a fen to the north site of the track. Most of the oil was recovered by pumping but part of the oil was absorbed by the peat soil. A restoration plan involving the replacement of the surface peat layer and the restoration of the vegetation was implemented in 2014. The objectives were to rapidly establish a plant cover and to initiate a process leading to a treed fen. The fen peat was excavated to an average depth of 47cm over an area of 1,284m2 and was replaced by bog peat from a nearby peatland used for horticultural peat harvest. The revegetation approach comprised collecting and spreading a mix of plant fragments collected in a pristine bog and a restored bog, sowing a seed mix composed of 4 wetland species with a wide range of growth conditions and planting trees and shrubs species. The site was covered by straw mulch prior the plantation. Plant establishment was monitored over 5 years in permanent plots and survival of all planted tree and shrub was assessed. Both objectives were met. The site was totally covered by a dense plant community dominated by graminoids 2 years after the restoration. After 5 years, shrubs and forbs are expanding and planted trees are growing, suggesting that the site evolves toward the original treed fen vegetation.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program